The Fourth River



Essay: “The Seedbank of Mount Sutro,” by Elizabeth C. Creely

By on May 26, 2014

  Mount Sutro, a hill in San Francisco, is difficult to characterize. At 908 feet, it’s a very tall hill that comes close to being a small mountain. (Another 92 feet, and it would have that distinction.) Many hundreds of

Essay: “Adhering,” by Nicole Parizeau

By on May 15, 2014

Slime (vb.) In part, from the Greek linere: to daub, besmear, rub out. Erase. A fresh and robust slime trail can trap a rolling dime. On a crepuscular sidewalk, from a certain angle (you’ve seen this), a snail trail glows

Fiction: “Polar Plunge,” by Justin Hermann

By on February 3, 2014

  I’d been noticing the fish girl around Station for weeks. I’d see her in the early morning hours at the lab, dumping coolers of live fish into seawater tanks in the aquarium, or sometimes she’d be tucked away in

Fiction: “The Inevitable Snake,” by Sonja Crafts

By on November 18, 2013

Captain Bob sang night-boatin’ and whistled as he unroped us from the dock a little after ten. Mom had made plans with him to take his boat out for this, one of those airboats with the giant fans. We weren’t

Fiction: “Rewilding,” by Heidi Diehl

By on June 20, 2013

From the porch, Mitchell watched his daughter Jamie roll her sleeping bag on the lawn. The rest of the gear was already packed in the van: tents, mess kits, tarps. Mitchell had been collecting camping supplies secondhand for years, and

Flash Fiction by Sophie Rosenblum

By on May 8, 2013

Pebble Eyes The chickens are bulletproof these days, sacks of flesh with beakless, nickel-sized heads that barely contain a brain. We’ve engineered them this way, paper bag-colored hairless meat bricks ready for plates. Hens in my day were gorgeous. Full-feathered

Poem: “The Rocket,” by Adam Tavel

By on August 27, 2012

for Andrew Foose Interstate battery, alligator clips, two lengths of copper wire snaking to the slender rocket perched on cinderblock—this ignition is the best we can muster. Zachary counts backwards to a blastoff no eye registers, a wet crackle and

Fiction: “Sweet Thang,” by Sherrie Flick

By on July 8, 2012

I am a sweet thang. That’s what the song on the radio keeps repeating. Sweet thang, sweet thang, sweet thang. And with this sun trickling in, I do kind of feel it, yes. I’m a sweet thang about to take

Poem: “Neighbors on Elizabeth Street,” by Katharyn Howd Machan

By on May 1, 2012

They understand each other, these two houses: worn wood painted once, twice, thrice then let to weather where it will, hurricanes’ kiss, rain’s promise. Porches down and porches up, balconies, storm-shuttered windows, screens against jewel-winged beetles, bats that might settle,

Poem: “Lost in Lower Manhattan,” by Liz Dolan

By on March 18, 2012

  As dusk descends I shrink into the collar of my blue chesterfield, quicken my step.  I use my books as a shield before my chest to deflect their stares while a phalanx of drunks huddles around fires in steel